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Ecos > 2012 > Wild Land News - Aarhus, wind farms and public accountability

Wild Land News - Autumn 2012Aarhus, wind farms and public accountability

‘Landscape is not all external, it has crept inside the Soul’ -
John O’Donohue, ‘Anam Cara.’

Excerpts from the article by Chris Metcalfe in Wild Land News, Autumn 2012

Chris Metcalfe is Councillor of the Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council (Argyll, Scotland), which successfully lodged a complaint to the United Nations.

"… we should therefore look at some of the facts which led to the unanimous support of our Community Councillors, at an unusually well attended meeting, for efforts to challenge the Government’s and EU’s imposition of wind power technology without proper public oversight. These efforts included a complaint to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee * (what a mouthful!), which has now been accepted as valid for consideration. (Complaint Ref. ACCC/C/20/12/68.)"

"Briefly, our complaint was based on a question: what is the justification for all this financial cost and environmental intrusion? We believe that there is no supporting data for the claims of the authorities, and that they are both; (a) disseminating false and inaccurate data and; (b) by-passing proper environmental and economic assessments and legally-binding procedures related to democratic accountability."

"Many MSPs believe that wind energy will assist Scotland in becoming the Saudi Arabia of renewables. Yet some European countries have greater experience of wind energy than Scotland and present a different image – Denmark, for example, could only export wind-generated electricity ata financial loss, and at times the price was zero Kroner per Mwh (1). Research published in the (peer reviewed) Journal Energy Policy found wind energy to be of little value. To quote the authors of Economic impacts from the promotion of renewable energies: the German experience: "Although Germany’s promotion of renewable energies is commonly portrayed in the media as setting a "shining example in providing a harvest for the world" (The Guardian 2007), we would instead regard the country’s experience as a cautionary tale of massively expensive environmental and energy policy that is devoid of economic and environmental benefits" (2). In addition, even the German energy agency, which was set up to promote renewables, has had to point out the technical reality (3)- you wreck your country's landscape and finances and you still need the fossil power plants for the backbone of your power generation (4)."

"It is fully recognised that no technology is without problems, but proponents of wind power have too often been ‘economical with the truth’ at best, at worst duplicitous or unwilling to acknowledge new or existing evidence. Accusations that the contents of this article amount to ‘scare-mongering’ are predictable, but groundless give that its veracity is easily checked."

"Whether through apathy or a misguided sense of helplessness, no society should permit those governing them to inflict physical, mental, or economic harm upon their citizens, and no responsible government should seek to do so. In the field of renewable energy it must be recognised that the precautionary principle - ‘first – do no harm’ - is being roundly ignored."

Full article:Christine Metcalfe - Aarhus, wind farms and public accountability

* The Compliance Committee of UNECE enforces the Aarhus Convention among the countries that are signatories to it.
To understand what this means, you may wish to read the following:
John Milne - The Aarhus Convention & energy policy


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